Ventura County man leaves neighbor paralyzed after shooting

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

A Santa Paula man was sentenced to prison after nearly killing his neighbor during an argument.

Richard Steven Valencia, 45, was sentenced Thursday to 25 years to life in prison for the attempted murder, according to the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office.

On Oct. 9, 2020, Valencia was involved in a verbal argument with his neighbor outside of their Santa Paula apartment complex.

Details on what prompted the argument remain unclear. Later that day, Valencia spotted the neighbor walking in the area and confronted him once again.

During the confrontation, Valencia pulled out a gun from his pocket and pointed it at the neighbor’s face, authorities said.

As the argument continued, Valencia fired two shots, striking the neighbor in the face and neck. He then fled the scene before police could arrive.

Richard Steven Valencia, 45, is seen in a booking photo from the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office.

The victim was transported to a local hospital for treatment where he survived the shooting, but was left paralyzed from the neck down.

Two days later on Oct. 11, 2020, Valencia was arrested by Santa Paula police. The shooting was also captured on surveillance video, investigators said.

On March 26, Valencia pled guilty to four felony counts including attempted murder, assault with a firearm, and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

He also admitted to several special allegations including personal and intentional discharge of a firearm causing great bodily injury and two strike priors. Valencia is also a known gang member, the DA’s office said.

“The crime was senseless and had a tragic outcome,” said Sean Alexander, the Deputy District Attorney who prosecuted the case. “Fortunately, he will no longer be able to victimize members of our community.”

He faces anywhere from 25 years to life in prison at his sentencing hearing.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.